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2005-06-25
Mount Pleasant, SC. Town Council Rejects Land Use Change

The Town Council in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina voted this week not to allow a land use plan change that would have allowed a large shopping complex in the heart of town. The decision against the land use change was unanimous. At a public hearing on the issue, nearly 200 residents voiced opposition to the idea of commercial development near their homes. The McAlister Development Company proposed to build two big-box retail buildings on the undeveloped Charleston County land abutting the Laurel Lakes community. The developer proposed a 53 acre retail complex with 500,000 s.f. of commercial and retail space. To sweeten the deal, the developer offered to give the town 27 acres, including land for a new school. A super Wal-Mart was expected to be part of the mix. The developer claimed it had no specific tenants signed on. "This 27 acres is a bribe. That's the way I look it," an elderly woman testified at the public hearing. Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman Jr. said council didn't want to rush to make a decision before getting a better idea of what the developer wants to build. But their vote left the door wide open, requiring the developer to come back in with a more specific plan. One local resident sent Sprawl-Busters this account from the front lines in Mount Pleasant: "The Mt. Pleasant Town Council voted unanimously against the developers' proposal to amend the MP Land Use Plan Map, based on insufficient information. We had over 150 people crowd the Council chambers, many with stop signs, etc. Actually, the Council had no choice in a public forum - here they had a developer requesting approval of the first step toward a rezoning from low density residential to commercial with no plan for what would be developed (at the price he paid for the land, it had to have 1-2 big box anchors). No impact studies, environmental, social, economic were done. But this was just the opening round. We still think the sentiment of the Council is to approve the developers' proposal. By rejecting it based on insufficient information, they avoided revealing their true positions. So we're taking the time to get better organized, several of us are planning to meet with Charleston County planning staff (the land currently is in the County and not the town)."

What you can do: For local contacts in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
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